I understand that Bernie Sanders is upset that he’s almost certain to lose today in New York. But his smear campaign against Hillary Clinton must stop. (More)
Dear Bernie Sanders:
I get it. The polls show you losing by 10-15 points today in New York. And if those polls pan out in today’s voting, it will be all but impossible for you to overtake Hillary Clinton in pledged delegates. Here’s the math:
A 55-45 win today would garner Clinton about 160 pledged delegates to your 131, leaving her with 1467 to your 1225. For you to reach a majority of 2181 pledged delegates, you would need 955 – or 57% – of the 1668 remaining. But in the states that follow, you trail by an average 6 points in Connecticut, by an average 22 points in Maryland, by an average 14 points in Pennsylvania, by an average 13 points in California, and by an average 9 points in New Jersey. You would have to flip all five of those deficits into 15-point wins … and repeat that margin, on average, in every other state remaining.
You can read the proverbial handwriting on the wall, and you’re getting desperate. But that is no excuse for this ugly smear:
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign on Monday questioned “serious apparent violations” of campaign finance laws under a joint fundraising deal between Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
That’s from your own campaign’s press release, and election law expert Rick Hasen says it’s complete rubbish:
Here’s the deal. Clinton, like Sanders and other presidential candidates, has set up a joint fundraising committee with her political party. The JFC allows you to raise a huge chunk of change (more now than in past campaigns, thanks to the Supreme Court blowing out the aggregate federal limits in the McCutcheon case). A small bit goes to the candidate’s committee under the federal limits (currently $2,700 for the primary and $2,700 for the general). The next bit goes to the DNC, and the rest so state parties in $10,000 chunks. Sanders is accusing the joint committee of raising really big donations, and then having the JFC using some of those really big donations to engage in direct mail and internet targeting of small donors. When those small donors donate small amounts, contributions up to the first $2,700 benefit Clinton under the JFC agreement, and because these are small donors, it means Clinton gets all that small donor money.
You claim that JFC contributions less than $2700 – which go only to the Clinton campaign, per that agreement – are illegal “in-kind” gifts from the Democratic National Committee. But your campaign’s complaint letter to the DNC cites no legal authority for that accusation … probably because you know the terms of that JFC agreement violate no federal statute or FEC regulation.
Noteworthy: the Ohio Democratic Party is defending Team Clinton after Team Sanders criticized its $ arrangement pic.twitter.com/Dq0MMnkrMb
— Gabriel Debenedetti (@gdebenedetti) April 18, 2016
Meanwhile, your supporters still call her a “corporate whore” – an ugly, sexist phrase that you called merely “insensitive” – and claim she is raising money for down-ballot Democrats to buy their votes as super-delegates. Simply, both your campaign and your supporters are feeding Donald Trump’s ‘Crooked Hillary’ meme.
Virginia Democrats are equally grateful for the Clinton’s down-ballot fundraising, as reported by Balloon Juice’s John Cole:
The Democratic Party of Virginia relies on a strong Democratic National Committee, which is made possible through joint fundraising committees like the Hillary Victory Fund. There’s no path to the White House without Virginia and in order to keep it blue, we rely on strong partnerships to bolster our efforts.
A good Democrat raises money for downticket races. A good Democrat doesn’t spend the entire primary creating faux controversies to weaken the party and party structure. A good Democrat doesn’t run around telling half the states they don’t matter or count. A good Democrat doesn’t do what the f–king Sanders campaign has done the last couple of months.
To which one of his readers added:
Also, a good Democrat doesn’t do all of those things and then turn to the very people that he’s been demonizing for months and say “I can haz superdelegate vote now?”. Because all morality aside, that’s just f–king stupid.
Over at Medium, Robin Alperstein explained how she moved from neutral to anti-Sanders. After recounting the folly of Sanders premising his budget on never-before-achieved 5% annual GDP growth, she writes:
That led me to more research. I concluded that the fact that Sanders only got three bills through Congress (two of which were for naming post offices) wasn’t the only meaningful measure, so I looked at the legislation he introduced during his senate career. It turns out that, every year, year after year, he introduced the same legislation to make a point, and no one else ever seems to have signed on to it. To me, this looked like showmanship rather than governance - an exercise designed to highlight his own support for a very progressive agenda. The hard work is to draft a bill that your co-legislators can get behind, in the political climate that exists and in the place where you work. I concluded that Sanders was less interested in actually accomplishing anything than he was in staging protests where he could claim some kind of moral high ground, not interested in getting in the weeds and doing anything to actually achieve his goals within the Congress he worked in. This research put Sanders’ supposedly pristine progressive agenda in perspective: it is very easy to maintain that agenda if you never make the hard choices necessary to get things done. Classic protester – yet handily collecting his $200,000 pay check and his lifetime of benefits while doing little to enact actual progressive policies to improve people’s lives. [Emphasis added]
So, Sen. Sanders, enough with the smears. Your campaign has become a disgrace to the Democratic Party. That probably doesn’t bother you, as you insisted you were not a Democrat for decades, until a few months ago, when you decided to run for president as a Democrat. Now that you’re almost certain to lose that race, you apparently want to take the Democratic Party down with you.
But we Democrats won’t let that happen. To quote one of progressives’ favorite movies, “Your fifteen minutes are up.” So please review again the photo in today’s logo – of you with your mouth shut – and please practice that pose for the rest of your career.
Regis Phlyphytyphts Phlyphytyl III (it’s Welsh)
The BPI Squirrel
Photo Credit: Craig Lassig (Reuters)
Good day and good nuts